Let’s Strive for Bluer Oceans: Limit Dirty Stormwater Runoff

Storm drain dirties ocean. (Photo courtesy of the Sierra Club)
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Sierra Club

BY HAWAII SIERRA CLUB – The difference in water quality between Honolulu and Hana is pretty obvious. Most experts have concluded that polluted runoff (including stormwater that picks up urban chemicals and sediments) is a major killer of coral reefs and marine ecosystems.


What can we do about it? The City and County of Honolulu just submitted a permit application to discharge stormwater that, unfortunately, doesn’t do enough to protect our coastal waters.

Can you please ask the state Department of Health to take a closer look at this permit application? Let’s require Honolulu to make reasonable efforts like installing sediment traps along major roads and building grassy swales. This could be precedent for all counties to ensure Hawaii is vigilant about protecting our natural resources.

You can send an email here or addressed to CleanWaterBranch@doh.hawaii.gov.

Some major points to mention:

The Department of Health should impose new requirements on the city’s permit to discharge polluted stormwater.

Stormwater runoff is one of the leading contributors to pollution in our marine waters.

The City should make basic efforts like installing grassy swales to reduce sediments and use detention basins to filter pollutants.